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Building Bridges to Justice

National partnership project to address intimate partner violence (IPV) and increase access to justice among young women from marginalized communities. 

With intimate partner violence on the rise in Canada, Building Bridges to Justice is a crucial project dedicated to reframing the public discussion away from blaming the survivor to interrogating the culture of shame and building a culture of consent. The objectives of the project are to address the barriers to accessing justice and the gaps in social supports for young women ages 16-25. Using legal rights based education and building a peer-to-peer community based response this project hopes to share knowledge and resources among young women to better respond to violence in intimate relationships. 

Project timeline: July 1st 2013 to March 31st 2016.

 

Program Tools

Building on existing tools and resources Girls Action is working with community partners to collaboratively create a Workshop Guide and Legal Toolkit to be widely disseminated to service providers nationally. The Workshop Guide has been piloted by our community partners in four diverse communities in rural Nova Scotia, Northern Quebec, Manitoba and Vancouver Island. Using a peer-to-peer approach, gender analysis and popular education methodology the Workshop Guide includes activities on identity; consent; power dynamics; healthy vs. unhealthy relationships; peer support; and human rights. It is being developed with the objectives of increasing knowledge of justice system supports available in young women’s communities and their legal rights related to IPV. 

 

Learning Labs

The National Working Group is composed of advisory committee members, legal rights educators and community partners working with young women from diverse vulnerable communities with expertise in violence prevention and support for survivors of sexualized assault. The working group participates in resources development, project consultations, guiding the project and identifying barriers faced by young women in accessing justice and support systems.

 

Regional Meetings and Webinars

Three workshops will be delivered to provide skills training in facilitation and implementation of the curriculum. The meetings will provide the opportunity to present pilot program results and case studies by community partners, exchange regional-specific challenges, tools and justice system supports available to young women experiencing IPV in their region. Webinars take place throughout the project on: barriers faced by young women from marginalized communities accessing justice system supports following IPV, promising practices in programs addressing IPV and access to justice for young women, young women’s legal rights in relationships and the role of friends and peers. 

For more information on this project, please contact Simone Viger, Local Programs Manager, at simone@girlsactionfoundation.ca or call 1-888-948-1112.


We would like to thank the Department of Justice Canada for their generous funding.